Beyond Mere Form: Multiplicity of Meaning in Music

During my first semester of graduate school I took part in the annual Proseminar Conference as part of the Proseminar course, this year focusing on Philosophy of Communication/Language. This project investigates the parallels in linguistics and philosophy of language studies with musical theory and music as a form of communication. I offer a critique of traditional understandings of language and communication because it renders some forms of meaning in communication unintelligible, particularly in the realm of music. I argue that H.P. Grice’s “conversational implicature” is the best step in a right direction but that is still not yet enough to account for a multiplicity of meanings transmitted through music.

This is the intellectual work and property of Taylor Elyse Mills protected under a Creative Commons 4.0 license.